Going to a festival and being on the beach are two of my favourite things to do. For me they are both the epitome of summer, places where I feel at my happiest and most content. If I could spend all my time here, I definitely would.
So, when I saw a festival that takes place with a beach as the backdrop, I had to go. Just imagine, one minute you are dancing to your favourite bands as the waves lap the shore in the distance and, a short walk later, you are strolling bare foot across a golden sandy beach towards that turquoise sea, looking back up on the festival scene behind you.
Boardmasters takes place in Newquay, Cornwall. It was a bit of a mission, taking 6 hours in total, to get there, and 10.5 hours to just get back to Reading, primarily due to the sheer amount of festival traffic. But that being said, it was definitely worth the seemingly never-ending drive for such a stunning setting.
The main part of the festival is right next to Watergate Bay but there is also a second location, a short bus ride away, at Fistral Beach, where they hold the surf and skate competitions.
So, if not being in to surfing or skating is putting you off this festival – it definitely shouldn’t because it is a part you can completely avoid if you wish.
We went to Fistral Beach once because we had bought tickets to the Beach Sessions on Thursday night – we took some time to explore Newquay Town (read: got lost and couldn’t actually find Fistral Beach) before heading to watch the music. Although just a small cost and a short bus ride to get here, for us it wasn’t worth heading back as we had all we needed within walking distance at Watergate Bay.
They did hold beach yoga at Fistral Beach which, before we went, I had every intention of doing each morning but, it started at 8am, so… it didn’t happen. However, we did take part in a yoga rave (which basically involved dancing with the odd ‘Warrior 1′ thrown in here and there) and also did a yoga class.
We bought earlybird tickets so set off on Wednesday, which gave us plenty of time to get there and set up camp – then, as the festival didn’t officially start until Friday, we spent all of Thursday on the beach.
We didn’t head down to the beach again until Sunday, when we went down early to try our hands at surfing. Let’s just say that what I did probably can’t be called surfing, but I put on a wetsuit and got in the sea with a surfboard. And, in my defence, it was very busy, the waves were huge and we had to dodge the jellyfish which floated along the shoreline.
You can rent everything you need, which is what we did or book a lesson for half a day – probably something I should consider if we go again. We also got to shower afterwards – which is a luxury at a festival and needed after 5 days of baby wipes and dry shampoo.
As for the music, a highlight for me was seeing James Bay headline the main stage. I saw him twice last year, both times were in tents which provided the perfect atmosphere for his style of music, but he didn’t disappoint – smashing his first headline set.
Other stand out performances came from Chase and Status, who I have seen SO many times before and are always incredible, Protoje, Jamie Lawson and Michael Kiwanuku – to name a few.
Craig David, however, decided to chill on Saturday night instead of Sunday, subsequently missing his headline slot in the dance tent – much to the disappointment of many festival goers including myself because, I’m not going to lie, he was probably the person I was most excited to see. Can’t beat a few 90’s classics. I have tweeted and request he ‘fill me in’ but I am still awaiting his response… although I have heard on the grapevine it was due to a cancelled flight – likely story Craig David, likely story.